Results tagged ‘ Astros All-Stars ’
I would be surprised if the Astros had more than the minimum one representative when the 2009 All-Star Game starters and reserves are announced at 2 p.m. Sunday. No Astros player had a legitimate chance to get voted in as a starter based on the most recent balloting numbers, but shortstop Miguel Tejada appears to be the most likely to make the National League team.
Tejada entered Saturday ranked first in hits in the NL (103) and multi-hit games (32), tied for first in doubles (26) and was fifth in batting average (.329). Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who leads the league in hitting and was leading the NL in voting, appears to be a shoo-in to make the team in some fashion. Neither Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins nor New York’s Jose Reyes were having All-Star caliber years, helping open the door for Tejada to make the team for the second year in a row with the Astros.
Astros outfielders Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee figure to also be in consideration for a reserve spot, and manager Cecil Cooper went as far as to say center fielder Michael Bourn deserved a spot on the All-Star game. Bourn leads the league in steals, triples and infield hits.
“I think I would have at least two guys on there,” Cooper said. “Tejada, for me, should be one, and you can take your pick with one of my outfielders. One of them deserves to be on there. I would probably go with – if I had to pick one of three and I was pushed – I would go with Bourn.
“He’s scored a lot of runs and is leading the league in stolen bases and is hitting .290. Those are All-Star numbers. Hunter’s hitting .300 and is one of the top hit guys probably in the league. He doesn’t have the RBIs like a lot of these guys have, but he’s having an All-Star kind of year, and is Carlos.”
Lee as hitting .300 with 12 homers and 47 RBIs and Pence was hitting .306 with 10 homers and 33 RBIs entering Saturday. A factor that could help the Astros land an outfielder on the team is that two of the three leading vote-getters in last week’s balloting update are injured – New York’s Carlos Beltran and Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez.
Player balloting will determine eight reserve position player and eight pitchers (five starters and three relievers) for both rosters. Eight more selections, including the extra pitcher, will be made by the managers, with input provided from league officials.
“I don’t really pay much attention to it,” Pence said. “It would be nice, but I definitely haven’t had a good week or two and didn’t do what I needed to do. But it would be a great honor.”
Astros manager Cecil Cooper said Saturday he isn’t sure how he will handle his pitching staff for the resumption of Thursday’s suspended game against the Washington Nationals. The game, which was suspended May 5 in Washington tied at 10 in the 11th inning, will resume at 6:05 p.m. Thursday at Minute Maid Park.
LaTroy Hawkins was on the mound for the Astros with a man on first base, but Cooper said another pitcher could be used to resume the game if Hawkins pitches a lot of innings prior to Thursday. Cooper has also said Felipe Paulino could get the ball to resume the game. Paulino, who was rocked for nine runs in two innings Friday, would be pitching on normal rest.
“I’m going to wait until we get home Monday and sit and map it out,” Cooper said.
Russ Ortiz will start Thursday’s regularly scheduled game.
Kenny Baugh, the former Lamar High School and Rice University product drafted in the first round by Detroit in 2001, has been signed by the Astros. Baugh will take Polin Trinidad’s roster spot at Double-A Corpus Christi and start Monday.
Baugh was 6-3 with a 4.52 ERA for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Independent Atlantic League.
Fan voting for next month’s All-Star Game is winding down, and the Astros have three players who should get strong consideration for the National League team: shortstop Miguel Tejada and outfielders Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence. There are no Astros players even close to getting voted in as a starter like Lance Berkman did last year, but at least one player will be going as a reserve.
Astros manager Cecil Cooper threw center fielder Michael Bourn, who leads the National League in steals, into the All-Star mix.
“I’ve got four guys who have think are capable of doing and have those kinds of numbers,” Cooper said. “Carlos has been very consistent. He’ hitting .300 and has 12 homer and 40-plus RBIs. You look at Hunter and he’s got a great on-base percentage and has 10 home runs and has been productive. He’s a solid hitter, and Michael Bourn has been getting on and has stolen bases. All three should be considered. And Tejada has been outstanding.”
Tejada is a long shot to make the team in a league where Jimmy Rollins of Philadelphia and Hanley Ramirez of Florida are playing. Tejada is a distant fourth in fan voting behind Ramirez, Rollins and Milwaukee’s J.J. Hardy.
In-stadium voting ends Friday and online voting continues into next week.
Competition in the outfield isn’t quite as stellar, and combined with the fact as many as six outfielers could be picked it appears likely Lee and/or Pence have a better shot at making the team than Tejada. Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and New York’s Carlos Beltran are the three leading vote-getters to start, with Alfonso Soriano in fourth, Shane Victorino in fifth and — yes — Manny Ramirez in sixth.
Pence entered Thursday hitting .324 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs, which are certainly All-Star-worthy numbers. Lee was hitting .300 with 12 homers and 43 RBIs.
The Astros don’t have any pitchers All-Star worthy. Yes, Chris Sampson is having a great year, but middle relievers typically don’t make it. Sorry, Sammy.
Took some time Thursday to look up some numbers. Here’s where the Astros rank in the National League in a few hitting categories:
Runs: 14th at 286
Hits: Fifth at 634
Homers: 11th at 58
Batting average: Fourth at .267
Batting average with bases empty: Fourth at .278
Batting average with runners in scoring position: Eighth at .256
Extra-base hits: 12th at 195